NBA / Nov 4, 2010 / 2:00 pm

Ranking the NBA’s 30 Go-To Guys (#15: Vince Carter)

Who do you want your offense to run through with the game on the line? Counting down from 30th to 1st (one per team), I’ve ranked the League’s go-to guys…

VINCE CARTER, Orlando Magic
Vince Carter sucks. Really, he does. He’s soft, he’s always hurt, he’s not clutch … he’s the biggest waste of talent the NBA has ever seen, bar none.

Check the stats.

The guy has been in the League for over a dozen years and has only scored 19,540 points (as of Thursday); there’s THIRTY-NINE players ahead of him all-time, including non-champions like Bernard King, John Stockton and George Gervin. I mean, Vince will pass those three this year if his frail body holds up for a 13th season, but anybody could score 19K if they were the focal point of their team’s offense for so long.

And Vince’s 22.9 points per game is only 23rd all-time. But the only reason he’s higher than Charles Barkley, Hakeem Olajuwon and Paul Pierce is that he was lucky enough to play with Jason Kidd for, like, three years. Even if you take out the J-Kidd years, anybody could have put up those numbers with Alvin Williams and Milt Palacio passing them the ball.

Speaking of passing, Vince doesn’t know the meaning of the word. He’s selfish. Vince has only 3,560 assists in his career, lower than 115 players all-time. Maybe he has more dimes than Chris Mullin, Mitch Richmond and Julius Erving, but those guys were score-first players that were all about the team.

But forget all-time. This is about now. Last year Vince averaged 16.6 points for the Magic, and how he couldn’t drop 20 a night, I have no idea. The 48-point game against the Hornets was a mirage; the real VC was the guy who didn’t show up in the playoffs, who only dropped 15.5 ppg during Orlando’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals. He should have watched tapes of Ray Allen, a real playoff killer. Ray lit ‘em up for 16.1 ppg in the postseason, including 15.6 in the ECF matchup with Vince. In that series, Carter only scored 13.6 ppg. That’s one whole shot per game.

And clutch? Please. Some people wanna give VC credit for leading the Raptors within one shot of the ’01 Eastern Conference Finals as a third-year player, but that was a lifetime ago. What has he done when it counts? Vince has averaged 23.3 points, 6.2 boards and 4.5 assists in the postseason. Nine other players have put up at least 23-6-4 in the playoffs — Jordan, Dr. J, Bird, Elgin Baylor, LeBron, Rick Barry, Connie Hawkins, T-Mac, Elton Brand — but guess what? Vince has the lowest field-goals-made per game out of all of them. So he’s not even really getting buckets like that.

The numbers don’t lie. According to 82games.com, last year Vince averaged 39.8 points per 48 minutes of “clutch time.” He was worse than Rip Hamilton in that regard, and worse than — count ‘em — FIVE other players in the League.

And worst of all, Vince is a known quitter. He admitted that he didn’t always play 100 percent when he was with Toronto. And if you watch as much NBA basketball as I do, you know that pretty much every NBA player plays at 100 percent every night, without fail. Some people call it “cruise control,” some might call it “pacing yourself,” but whatever: True ballplayers go all out, all night. Kobe Bryant never quits. I remember the summer of ’07. I watched the 2006 playoffs. I saw Kobe’s 48-minute display of sheer effort every night.

Bottom line: Vince is done. And really, he never was all that in the first place. Orlando got Vince to be their closer, and all they had to show for it was 59 regular-season wins last year and a conference finals exit. But that’s what you get for putting your crunch-time eggs in a guy who has obviously proven he doesn’t produce in crunch-time.

All you have to do is look at his hands. Where are the championship rings, dude? Everybody knows all great players have rings. What a bum.

*** *** ***

16. Gilbert Arenas (Wizards)
17. Amar’e Stoudemire (Knicks)
18. Monta Ellis (Warriors)
19. Danny Granger (Pacers)
20. John Salmons (Bucks)
21. Rudy Gay (Grizzlies)
22. Stephen Jackson (Bobcats)
23. Baron Davis (Clippers)
24. Ben Gordon (Pistons)
25. Andre Iguodala (76ers)
26. Yao Ming (Rockets)
27. Mo Williams (Cavaliers)
28. Brook Lopez (Nets)
29. Andrea Bargnani (Raptors)
30. Michael Beasley (Timberwolves)

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  • 2 Easy

    so much sarcsm

  • http://deleted dagwaller

    Austin, I know you like Vince, and I can see where you were going with this article…

    …but it’s a little muddled, I think. Because a few of these points had me saying, “Yea, you’re right. He isn’t all that.”

  • control

    Hahaha, you tell em!

    That’s what Vince gets for giving up on Toronto!

    I still like Vince, despite him fucking up his exit from Toronto (management was the ones who set the franchise back years with that trade, one of the worst in NBA history). He’s not as bad as people say he is, but still…if I remember the play offs correctly, he missed two of the most important free throws he needed to make last year. Cost Lando the game I believe.

    I don’t think the guy will ever kill his new negative image of being Wince…

  • derik

    Monta Ellis @ 18 is so much better then VC @ 15….

  • ERIC

    Austin – awesome.

    I still support Vince.

    He’s freakin 33+ years old, managed to transition his game from slashing/high flier to all around SG on a title contending team.(sacrificing ppg for increasing his 3 pt shooting, rebounding and passing.)

  • Promoman

    Of course Vince’s scoring dropped off when he went to Orlando. The Magic has a history of freezing Dwight out during games and he’s the face of the franchise.

  • MattO

    you’re right, he is a bum.
    and how convenient that he’s ranked #15…

  • JAY

    Hahaha. Nice sarcasm.

    But for real, fuck the numbers. Numbers don’t tell all truths. Vince is not as reliable as his numbers point out to be. If we look at numbers alone, Vince is more reliable than a guy like Rondo, and is on the same level as D-Wade. 1 out of every 4 games Vince will crumple to the floor trying to sell a non-existent foul…. and when the refs don’t blow the whistle, he’ll just lay there underneath the basket while his squad has to defend 4 on 5 at the opposite end of the court. That act gets old.

  • JAY

    He stopped slashing to the basket since his days in Toronto. Please don’t make it seem like he changed his game to fit Orlando’s needs.

  • control


    At least wheelchairs aren’t circling Vince like sharks around bloody meat…like they do around a certain guy in Bawston. At least Vince sells his injury hardcore, and when he’s faking it, he’s out for 3-5 weeks, instead of 3-5 minutes.

    Vince is like the ultimate enigma. He SHOULD have been an all time legend with his skills and body…and his stats are actually really good…but his brother “Wince” is just as well known as he is. Too bad that guy didn’t have 1/10th of Kobe’s mental toughness.

  • karizmatic

    Man, why do you love Vince Carter so much? Why can’t you just admit there is a reason for all these negative perceptions of him?

  • sweetv0mit

    For someone who’s the “Go-to-guy” by default, he’s pretty high on the list.

  • Ramez

    This is probably the dumbest thing I’e ever read in my life.

  • chucktayd

    vc still one of my all time faves…

  • WR

    This is probably the coolest thing I’e ever read in my life.

  • sonic

    I like the idea, Austin, but I have to agree with @dogwaller, at times I thought you were actually criticizing him. All in all though, pretty interesting choice of style.

  • b

    I agree with #12.

    The criteria for this list is a lil jacked up since you can only have one player per team. Like how Beasley is #30 even though he’s probably only the 10th best “go-to” PF in the West alone (ZBo, Scola, TD, Pau, Dirk, David West, LaMarcus, Al Jeff, D Lee).

    The same goes with VC. I consider him on the level of Jamal Crawford, Mayo, Jason Terry, and maybe JRich these days. And probably below guys like Kevin Martin, Iggy, Manu, and possibly E Gordon. He’s still a serviceable player, but not in the top 15 go to guys in the whole freegin league! Obviously the whole thing is arbitrary but it’s getting on my nerves.

  • S.A.C.

    Vince Coleman is not Clutch.

    I don’t care what you guys say (Dime, etc.)!!

    You have officially rendered your list useless and forgetful.

  • the cynic

    i just realized why the Magic can never win a chip, Vince is the team’s go to player

  • Max

    Monta Ellis @18 ??? And Vince @15???

    There gotta be something wrong here

  • LakeShow84

    Hope u aint going to him in the playoffs..

    That ship has long sailed..

    Only way for Orlando to be successful is for Reddick to get those crunchtime minutes.. thats right i said it lol

    @ Control

    Memory dead on..

    Funniest part of him bricking those FT’s last year was immediately after that Reddick made a bad play which was lightweight the nail in the coffin unless someone hit a halfcourt 3 pointer..

    So instead of putting himself in the mind frame of “im hitting this shot” he starts to sulk and make sour faces.. DUDE U JUST MISSED 2 FREEBIES UR DAMN SELF.. Does Reddick hit those Ft’s?? Call me crazy but YEAH he does lol

    Dude is a quitter and quitters dont win shit in the end..

  • Max

    For those who doubt, “Carter In The Clutch”


  • JAY

    Didn’t we discuss about Reddick playing more than Vince during last year’s playoff? He’s too sometime-ish. He has extremely high highs, and bottom of the ocean lows.

  • sean

    lol its funny that u casual fans who see themselves as actual knowledgeable fans are calling vince carter a choker in the clutch where as all he has to show for choking in his 10 year career is two free throws lol oh wait u mean the 2 free throws with the team down 3? the 2 free throws that yes it would bring them within 1 but would not have tied the game? or wait is reddick the more reliable one who doesnt know that u cant dribble after a rebound and still get the ball past half court after a timeout..lol and as far as being clutch is concerned…chek his percentages in the clutch which are up there with kobe and im sure the only one ahead of vince carter in clutch field goals and free throws is kobe bryant…im sure his coach knows more about how efficient vc has been in the clutch throughout his career as opposed to casual fans such as most ppl commenting here lol

  • S.A.C.


    Hey! I didn’t think I was one of those fans you were talking about about. But I did see Carter play with the Nets regularly and enough with Toronto. And of course I saw last years playoffs.

    Carter was a great player. And it’s obvious he made this list, cause you can only pick one from each team and Dwight Howard just doesn’t qualify (Pre-Hakeem; though we’ll see). I get it.

    But watching Carter play all these years. He’s a numbers and highlight guy that played great overall. But when the chips counted the most, he wasn’t always available. That doesn’t make him a bad guy. It just makes his some what of a go to player and not a boffo one!

    Let’s see how he does this year, with another run with the Magic?

  • Big Sia

    Greatest article in Dime history

  • QQ

    Even as a fan, it’s hard to put your trust into a player this frail. It’s like you never know what you’ll get. There’s the player who drop 48 on the Hornets last year. Then there’s the player who disappears in the playoffs.I cannot say I’m completely sold into this VC the go to guy thing. I’ll cheer for him, cause he’s in my squad, but to trust him? hmmmmm not YET.

  • Fertsy

    VC = All hype… No substance (just like his cousin)
    He’s a name cos the NBA needed to find a golden goose in the Post-Jordan period.
    The Magic have two anti-clutch players surrounding Howard hence Lakers, Heat, Celtics are the only ‘legitimate’ title contenders.

  • switchbeetz

    This was a very well written article.